, Newburyport, MA


November 4, 2013

River Road closure affects Skunk Road residents

To the editor:

At the Merrimac Special Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, several people made impassioned talks about how they loved to walk on the section of River Road that has been closed since the Mother’s Day storm of 2006. What was never addressed was the effect the road closure has had on residents/abutters who live adjacent to River Road.

Residents of Skunk Road have had to endure the complete removal, widening and replacement of our road to accommodate two buses passing one another simultaneously. What was once a quiet country road has become Seabrook’s evacuation route. Heavy construction vehicles, buses, boats and, worst of all, motorcycles that formerly used River Road now routinely scream past our homes. Fast food debris and liquor bottles tossed from passing vehicles end up on our lawn. Our real estate values have been compromised forever.

Instead of looking out at the river, for the past seven years we look out to Jersey barriers, orange cones and a crowd of vehicles parked so that people can walk their pets on the closed stretch of River Road. I understand that everyone will miss this section of River Road not being open to vehicular and foot traffic, not to mention the beautiful scene; my wife and I strongly feel that loss as well. What my wife and I will miss most of all by the Board of Selectmen’s decision to discontinue and not repair the road is our quiet country road and our sleep.

Greg Rahe


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